First off, this isn't slash, just so you know. This is a little somethin' somethin' that popped into my head today. I found it interesting how Robin would react to Wally's flirtation attempts in "Welcome to Happy Harbor." So, like any good fan-fictioner, I asked the question, "Why?" And this is pretty much what I got. Enjoy.
Kaldur stepped out into the cool night air, relieved to escape the warmth of the mountain. The cave was never too hot, especially during the day, yet, somehow, it managed to warm up – and dry up, oddly - every once in a while just enough for the Atlantean to become uncomfortable.
The ocean's waves glimmered invitingly in the moonlight, and the teenage hero couldn't resist its call. A quick swim would help him.
Jumping from the cliff side, Kaldur landed lightly on the beach. He jogged toward the water, almost hearing the depths song that ever lured him back. He never really understood why, but, there was something thrilling about the water. He had mentioned it to his king, Aquaman, once, and the answer wasn't much, a mere "I suppose it's in our blood" sort of thing. But, Kaldur couldn't help but believe that there was something more to it, almost like the sea was his lover, and he-
"Watch it!" A quiet voice hissed.
Kaldur tripped, running awkwardly a few steps before fully regaining his balance. Turning around, he quickly focused on the talking obstacle – Robin.
The Boy Wonder was still wearing his mask, they had just returned from a mission almost an hour ago, and rubbing his head, glaring at his team leader.
"Robin? What are you doing here?"
"I could ask you the same thing. I don't know anybody that go for midnight jogs," the boy huffed.
Kaldur smiled, slightly amused. "I was getting warm. I needed some water."
Robin shifted his weight to lean back on both hands, grinning. "I knew that's what Atlanteans say!"
Robin waved a hand in the air, before lying back down. "It's just from a random conversation Wally and I were having. You know, about how people say that they 'need some air', but, since you live underwater, we were wondering if you say the same thing."
Kaldur walked over and sat next to him. "I guess I answered that, then."
They both fell into silence while enjoying the Summer night's noise. Kaldur watched the waves, suddenly feeling less drawn, perhaps because of his future-leader's (or so he hoped, as long as nothing happened) companionship. Robin simply watched the stars.
"I thought you needed some water."
Kaldur looked down at the boy, who hadn't moved. "Yes."
"Then why aren't you swimming?" Again, Robin didn't even glance over. He just stared at the stars.
"Would you prefer to be alone?"
The Boy Wonder shrugged. "I don't really care. It just bugs me when someone says one thing and they do something different. There's probably a word for that..."
Kaldur grinned, lying down next to him. "Probably. You'll find it, I'm sure."
"Maybe." Robin smiled back. His penchant for words had become infamous in the team.
"So why are you out here?" Kaldur asked after a moment, lying down himself.
Robin shifted nervously beside him. "I...just wanted to watch the stars."
"Special reason for it?" Kaldur normally wasn't this pushy, but, he was curious.
Some silence. Then, "Not really. I used to do it a lot when I was little. And then when I teamed up with Batman, there was a lot more of watching the streets than the stars."
Kaldur had never been a star-gazer, the majority of his life being spent underwater. But, now that he looked at them, he was...intrigued? The city lights dimmed the heavenly ones, but he could still make out them shining down. They weren't as twinkly as he had been led to believe from all the books. No, they were bold, strong...
A gloved hand pointed upward. "See that one? That's my mom's."
Kaldur blinked. He spotted it quickly, still surprised at the sudden openness. "She has a star?"
Robin chuckled. "Sort of. I mean, she picked it out. She and I used to do a lot of star-gazing when we stopped along the roads between cities."
"You did a lot of traveling?"
Robin froze. "Uh, yeah."
Kaldur, sensing that he was getting too close to something, probably that secret identity Batman wanted hidden, changed the subject. "I suppose you're mom is who gave you the respect you have for women."
Robin turned. "What?"
This time, Kaldur chuckled. "I guess you haven't really payed attention to yourself, then. I've noticed, though, when you're with Megan and Wally's flirting, you stop him. You get almost...indignant on her behalf. Why?"
Robin breathed deeply, turning his gaze back to the sky. "She told me once that I can never think of a girl as an object, but a person, who's living, thinking, and feeling, just like me. I never really, truly understood what she meant until this past year. Well, sort of. I kind of figured some things out when Batman and I would be patrolling Gotham, and he'd tell me to stay on a rooftop while he went down to an alley where we'd heard a woman scream.
"Most of this 'figuring out' stuff has really come with hormones." he chuckled. "Hormones are the worst teachers. They tell you a little, and don't explain it. You have to ask to see what's going on. And, even then, asking is so awkward."
Kaldur smiled. "Your mother seems like a wise person."
"She was," Robin answered softly. "She said that leading a girl on was like teasing a hungry dog with food. They're so trusting, and then, when you trick them, take away the food, they're crushed and confused. I'm still getting to know that one...it's a little different than the other."
The waves crashed against the beach, almost lulling them to a slumber-like state. How peaceful the night was at the mountain.
"I would have thought that your mother would be telling you these things more around this age, than earlier."
"Yeah..." Robin answered absentmindedly. "I wish she could still tell me more. But, I'm glad she told me what she did when she did."
"I'm a little surprised you remember them, still. Little children are so often forgetful so quickly. Or are land dwellers more different than Atlanteans than I was aware of?"
Robin didn't answer immediately. Then he said simply, "she's dead."
Kaldur didn't speak for a moment, unsure of how to answer. "I'm sorry."
"It's okay. It's been a while, and you didn't know." Robin tried to smile a little. "So, yeah, she really was wise to tell me that stuff early on, instead of waiting." He stood up abruptly. "I'm going to bed, I'm about to fall asleep out here."
Kaldur stood as well. "It is rather late, and I would still like to swim. Good night."
Robin gave a slight wave as he turned. "'Night." he walked a few paces before stopping and twisting to look at Kaldur. "Um, thanks. I haven't really talked about Mom in a while, and...I guess I needed to."
Kaldur nodded, "Of course."
They parted ways for the night, Kaldur to his beloved ocean, and Robin to his bed. Only the stars remained where they were until morning, and only the stars would forever maintain that conversation.
The ending's a little weird...but, I wasn't sure how else to do it.
The only time reviews are unwelcome (sort of) is when I can, in no possible way, be alive. Like, in a hundred years from now. Drop a line, give a critique, a flame is never minded, either. Thanks! -Jimmy C.